Foreign Secretary William Hague has admitted that the 'special forces' captured by Libyan rebels at the weekend were in fact members of popular wartime sitcom Dad's Army. 'It's a perfect example of the Big Society' he explained. 'The leader of the mission is actually a bank manager during the week, and we know how much bankers earn don't we, so we don't have to pay him at all. It's brilliant.'
However, critics have condemned the plan as farcical. 'Replacing the SAS with fictional part-timers is one thing' said shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander, 'but I understand that they weren't even able to train prior to the mission due to the church hall being double-booked yet again. One of the team was missing as his mum wouldn't let him to go and another spent the entire mission needing the toilet. It's a national disgrace.'
One of the team members also defended their though, telling reporters repeatedly not to panic. However, when asked how he thought the Libyan rebels were coping with the recent counter-attacks by the Gaddafi-loyal militia he answered 'they don't like it up 'em', casting doubt on the long-term prospects of successful regime change in Tripoli.
The men from Dad's Army have also been blamed for the other recent bungles involving Libya. 'We have reason to believe that they were responsible for the intelligence that told William Hague that Gaddafi was on his way to Venezuela and the heavily delayed evacuation of British nationals from Libya' said Mr Alexander, although the Foreign Secretary argued 'the 1930s butchers van being used to bus people out of the country would have been perfectly adequate had it not still been full of undelivered meat from that morning's delivery.'
Mr Hague also maintained that the contact mission had been a success, pointing out that contact had been made with the rebels and a dialogue started. 'I'm sure the fact that they know that our best part-time voluntary forces are on the case has boosted the morale of the rebels dramatically' he boasted, despite the fact that a press release from the rebels after the weekend simply stated 'We're doomed, we're doomed!'
There have also been accusations that the blunder was a major propaganda own-goal, with Colonel Gaddafi himself claiming that the incident had reinforced his grip on power. Mr Hague remained defiant however, countering 'who do you think you are kidding Mr Gaddafi?'